Assembly: Health minister Tandin Wangchuk has called upon the people to report to the government any negligence and lapses on part of health professionals.

He was responding to a question yesterday in the National Assembly from Nanong-Shumar MP Dechen Zangmo, who said patients are not getting adequate post-operation care.  “We heard from people that patients don’t get proper post-operation care,” she said.

Acknowledging the shortage of manpower faced by hospitals, the MP questioned the minister on how the government is going to improve health services.

“Report to us if patients are facing such problems. We should provide good services,” the health minister said.

He said if health professionals have failed to add a human touch to their services, they are doing their best to cope with the increasing number of patients. “Although we may not have in our hospitals the kind of love and care patients receive in private hospitals outside the country, we have a very small number of post-operation infection cases,” he said.

He added that operations are performed as per the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines and standards to ensure the patients’ safety.

He said the number of post-operation infection cases as per the WHO standard should be kept below 15 for every 100 patients. “Ours is below 1 percent,” he said.

He said hospitals follow the standard operating procedure (SOP) and protocols for performing operations.

From January last year to May this year, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) performed 10,384 operations. Out of these total operations, only 58 patients saw post-operation complications like infection.

Similarly, only six of the total 3,582 patients operated in Mongar Regional Hospital suffered infections. A total of 1,398 operations were performed in Gelephu Regional Hospital, out of which only eight patients suffered post-operation infection.

“We are facing a shortage of doctors, and the shortage of specialised doctors is even more severe,” he said.

The minister said that health services in Bhutan are not as good as private health services offered abroad. However, he said public health service is much better in Bhutan in comparison to countries in the region.

MB Subba